Obama Administration finds greenhouse gases pose threat

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Industries throughout the country are bracing for tougher new rules that may result from the Obama administration's stand that greenhouse gases may endanger public health or welfare. Locally officials say it's too early to know the effect possible new rules could cause.

Last week the administration declared that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases threaten the planet. That from a memo Obama's EPA chief wrote recognizing threats posed by climate change laying the groundwork for stricter environmental rules.

Local environmental activist Jerome Ringo was at the White House just three weeks ago to talk about green jobs from stimulus dollars. He believes the administration is on the right track. "The United States has now taken action saying we're going to take the lead in identifying chemicals that contribute to global warming to try to cut those chemicals. The wonderful thing about that is we're taking the lead because we make up five percent of the world's population, we use 25 percent of the energy in the world and we discharge 35 percent of the CO2 to the atmosphere which causes global warming."

Ringo, who heads the Apollo Alliance on clean energy, is on a nationwide tour talking to state officials about using stimulus dollars for green jobs.

Larry DeRoussel is the director of the Lake Area Industry Alliance. He says it's too early to tell how local industries may be affected since they don't yet know what new regulations may come. "They use the best available technology to ensure that their facilities either meet or surpass be it environmental, be it safety or otherwise." Deroussel points out there are many causes of greenhouse gases, not just industry. "Automobile and trucks that we drive around are a source of CO2 emissions. The air that we breathe, what we breathe out is CO2."

Ultimately those effected by stricter rules could range from power plants to car makers.